Multitudes of God’s offspring know little or nothing of a life of communion with him. Why is this so?

I believe such Christians have a sad, twisted concept of the heavenly Father. I recall Jesus’ parable about the servant who hid his talent because he had a twisted image of his master. That servant said, “I knew thee that thou art an hard man” (Matthew 25:24).

Likewise, many believers today think, “There’s no way God could ever be glad over me, rejoicing and singing in love. I’ve failed him so miserably at times, bringing reproach on his name. How could he possibly love me, especially in the struggle I’m facing now?”

I believe this is one powerful reason why so many Christians don’t want to get close to their heavenly Father. They dread drawing near to him because they sense they’ve failed him somehow. All they can conceive of him is that he’s full of consuming fire, ready to judge and condemn them.

The question for all of us today is, how can we not want to be near a Father who writes love letters to us, who tells us he yearns to be with us, who’s always ready to embrace us, who says he has nothing but good thoughts about us? In spite of our foolishness, he assures us, “Satan may tell you you’re useless, but I say you are my joy!”

You may be thinking, “Surely the Lord doesn’t rejoice over someone who’s still in sin. I can’t expect him to love me if I continue my sinning ways. That sort of thinking borders on blasphemy.”

Yes, God does love his people but he doesn’t love their sin. The Bible says he reproves every child who continues in iniquity, but he always does it with longsuffering. And after he reproves us, his Spirit fills us with a sense of his indignation over sin.

Through all of this, God’s love for us remains unchanged. The Word says, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). “The Father…with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). “I am God, and not man” (Hosea 11:9).

God forbid that his love for us should ebb and flow as ours does for him. Our love varies almost daily, going from hot and zealous to lukewarm or even cold. Like the disciples, we can be ready to die for Jesus one day and then forsake him and run the next.

I must ask you if are you able to say, “My heavenly Father is in love with me! He says I’m sweet and lovely in his eyes and I believe him. I know no matter what I go through, or how tempted or tried I become, he’ll rescue me. He’ll hover over me through it all, never allowing me to be crushed. He’ll always be kind and tender to me!”

This is when true communion begins. We’re to be convinced each day of God’s unchanging love for us. And we’re to show him we believe his revelation about himself. John writes, “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).